Children’s judo injuries
I am Keiko Kobayashi, a founding member of the Japan Judo Accident Victims Association (JJAVA). The article about the severe judo injury of a seven-year-old boy in Taiwan was a great shock to us (“Boy ‘near brain-dead’ after judo training incident,” April 25, page 2). The JJAVA is an organization that aims to eliminate children’s judo injuries in Japan, and it was started five years after my son was severely injured by a judo coach during club practice at a junior-high school 16 years ago.
Unfortunately, a surprising number of children have sustained serious judo injuries in Japan over many years. Since 1983, 121 children under the age of 18 have died in relation to judo under school supervision, not including children who died due to injuries at private judo clubs. It is a significant issue in Japan.
According to professional studies, many judo instructors in Japan have not learned how to teach judo safely, particularly to beginners. Since judo is a martial art, if coaches apply techniques to children without consideration, it might easily lead to serious injuries.
The following is a paper I wrote on the possible causes and mechanism of judo injuries, which also explains how they occur in Japan: https://safety.nagaokaut.ac.jp/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/anzen_03-04.pdf
It is written in Japanese, but if you read it using DeepL translation it might help you understand how children like the seven-year-old boy in your country are seriously injured in judo practice. It is an attempted murder, not an accident. The criminal responsibility of the coach should be investigated to prevent these terrible injuries.
For your reference, no child under 18 has died due to judo injury in the UK, France, Germany, the US, Canada or Australia in the past 20 years, according to our study.
Japan Judo Accident Victims Association
Legislator’s careless words
During a discussion forum at the legislature on April 23, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lee De-wei (李德維) asked where imports of US pork have ended up in the nation, following the government’s relaxation of controls on US pork imports with ractopamine residues.
“Is it possible that the pork knuckles sold on Wanluan Street [a street in Pingtung County famous for pork knuckles] are a mixture of US and domestically produced pork?” Lee asked.
It just so happens that I went to Wanluan Street a few days ago to feast on pork knuckles. I noticed prominent signs outside every vendor proudly displaying the “Taiwan pork” logo. I walked into one shop and ordered a plate of pork trotters, which arrived glistening in stewed sauce. The fatty meat was not overly greasy, and the lean meat was moist. Dipped into the restaurant’s special preparation of garlic soy sauce, the combination was a heavenly delight. I can still taste the wonderful flavors as I write.
I wonder how many of the Wanluan Street vendors have been left emotionally wounded and their businesses damaged by Lee’s careless words?
Lee was wrong to cast aspersions on pork knuckle vendors without a shred of evidence. Consumers who had no reason to be concerned, after Lee’s intervention, might be worried about the origin of pork knuckles and less willing to eat them.
In Taiwan, pork knuckle is a favorite delicacy and the industry is sizable, employing many people. How many livelihoods have been affected by Lee’s careless remarks? It is also unfair to vendors who honestly label the origin of their meat.
In addition to making a formal apology to Wanluan Street pork knuckle vendors, Lee should visit the famous street to inspect it for himself and sample its delicious Taiwanese pork delicacies.
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